King's Academy Ringmer weekly newsletter 07/10/22
This week's message from our principal, Mrs Williams.
Does it say anything about me when the most exciting event of my week was the discovery that we now have two guinea pigs in school. Miss Watson, science and PE teacher, is their guardian and the students love having them in school. Nori and Miso love cuddles and vegetables; they are certainly having an impact on the students and who also love the cuddles - but not so much the vegetables it would seem.
Year 11 Careers’ Evening
This Thursday we held our Careers' Evening for Year 11. I was delighted to see a superbly attended event. Not only were there plenty of stands from colleges and schools offering sixth form options, but the student attendance was excellent. Year 11s were joined by many year 10 students who were taking the opportunity to plan for their future and find out about the exciting course available to them. A big thank you to Ms Dormer and Ms Hunnisett for organising the event.
European Day of Languages Treasure Hunt
Congratulations to Turing House who completed the most amount of European Day of Languages Treasure Hunt entries. The MFL department is very proud of you!
Enrichment Voluntary Donations
You may have noticed a new payment option appear on ParentPay with this label. Please see this letter if you are in a position to help students from low income families to participate in some of the enriching visits we will be offering this year.
In the Library we have been celebrating the change of season with our new book club title October October by Katya Balen. The book club loves everything about this lyrical and beautifully told story, including the stunning cover and illustrations by artist Angela Harding.
In paper art on a Friday lunchtime we are making paper pumpkins out of old damaged books, these are looking great as Autumn decorations. The students are excited about the new Leaders are Readers reward competition launched this week by the English department. There is a real buzz in the Library with more books going out than ever and students enjoying reading for pleasure. New titles will also be coming in over the next few weeks.
Free School Meals Update for Parents
To make applications easier for parents/carers we have changed the way that you can apply for free school meals. Applications are now processed online via East Sussex County Council, the criteria for being able to apply and for the online application please see the details below.
Free school meals for children in Year 3 and older
Older children may get free school meals if their parents or carers get any of these benefits:
Universal Credit - GOV.UK – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - GOV.UK
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - GOV.UK
Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 - GOV.UK
The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit -GOV.UK
Child Tax Credit - GOV.UK, only, if your annual household income (assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) isn’t over £16,190
[Anyone who gets Working Tax Credit - GOV.UK, won’t get free meals regardless of income]
Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Children will get free school meals if they meet the criteria and are in school both before and after lunchtime.
Children eligible for free school meals on or after 1 April 2018 will remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023 even if your circumstances change.
Our Electronic Checking Service might be able to confirm entitlement. If not, you’ll need to show recent proof that you qualify. Meals cannot be given until eligibility is verified.
Apply online if your child goes to school in East Sussex.
Equipment Reminder – Basic Equipment List for Students
Two pens – 1 x blue or black and 1 x green for peer marking etc
1 x ruler
1 x sharpener
1 x eraser
1 x pencil
1 x calculator: Casio FX-83GT Plus
1 x book for silent reading
There has been a recent increase nationally in vaping incidents in young teenagers. Recent media coverage reports:
Secondary schools are responding with random searches, banning children from toilet blocks and handing out suspensions to crack down on vaping. The Department for Health and Social Care requested this week that schools ensure their policies on vaping are “robust” and sanctions to pupils are “proportionate”. Data published by NHS Digital earlier this month shows the proportion of 11 to 15-year-olds classed as current e-cigarette users increased to 9 per cent in 2021, up from 6 per cent in 2018. While the proportion of smokers in the same age group has dropped to 3 per cent, the research also suggests that one in five 15-year-old girls are vapers. Government guidance allows authorised school staff to search pupils, even without their consent, where they have “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the pupil may have a prohibited item”. This includes any item banned under school rules.
Please be aware that our response will be ‘proportionate’ and we will only search if we have reason to believe that a student may be in possession of a banned item.